Thursday, April 28, 2011

What We Did Today

This is just a tiny glimpse of what the kids and I got done today:

Before:  Looks almost like a good candidate for "Hoarders"...LOL  (and yes, there are 2 t.v.'s there.  It's a long story.  At least we got both for the price of one.)

After: Now this is how I remember my lower level used to look!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Special Gift for Obadiah

This actually arrived a couple weeks ago.  I'm just delayed in writing this post.  :)

Kathi's parents sent a special package just for Obadiah.  It was really neat, so I had to share!

 I have never seen these before.  They are called Der Pucksack.  It is very similar in use/function to the sleep sack that is more common here.  It wraps baby comfortably and keeps him warm without a blanket (which can get kicked off or increases the risk of SIDS).  I like the soft knit band at the top and the great colors.  Having something from Germany is extra special!  Also included, a cute sign a la "Baby On Board"...only in Deutsch, a card for Obadiah, and some yummy kinder chocolates--yay! 

 {3 weeks old}

 The hemorrhages in Obadiah's eyes are slowly fading.  The white part of his eye still looks a little yellow.  I can't wait for that to fade, too! 

He even closed his eyes for a second so I could show you that the bruises on his eyelids are finally almost gone, too.

A huge 'thank you' to Kathi and her family for their kind gifts!! 

Book Review: Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs

Do you have a dragon lover in your home?  Are you looking for a gift idea for your tween/young teen?  Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs, published by Master Books just might be the book for you!

Since we have started reading the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, my children have become dragon lovers.  They are always talking about dragons--this trait or that trait.  Their exposure to dragon lore has been limited up to this point to fiction, so when I saw this book and had the opportunity to review it, they were all saying "Yes! Please get it!"

This book is where legend breaks out of modern fiction novels and explodes throughout history, digging to separate fact from fiction.  Could dragons have really existed?  One interesting point is brought up immediately:  cultures all over the world have dragon legends from their history.  How did this come to be?

The pages of the book begin by looking at common elements of dragon lore.  The authors say, "taking the supernatural elements out and sticking to clearly defined accounts and historical records, there is a logical explanation for the worldwide prevalence of dragon legends."  What are dragons and how could they possibly have existed?  Well, I don't want to spoil the story for you, but maybe the full title of the book has already given it away.

Beautifully illustrated, and interactive, this book is engaging and inviting.  There are envelopes with papers to pull out and read, mini pop-up type books, fold-out pages with more information (did you know that "dragons" appear 22 times in the Old Testament in the King James Version of the Bible?  You'll want to have your favorite translation on hand to compare!).  It is as fun as a children's book, but it is not a children's book!  The text is at a reading level that will challenge your tween/young teen.  It is built on documented facts and well-written.  Research is compiled in a collective order, but is not watered-down.  Your child can read this book again and again, digesting and learning more each time.  The book makes an excellent gift for a child who will respect and take care of it.  (Hint:  it needs to be kept out of reach of my 4 year old and 2 year old, who will simply rip things open, lose parts, etc.)

Perhaps this book demystifies dragons a little bit.  Does that take the fun out of reading dragon stories?  Nah.  I think it is incredibly interesting to read dragon legends from around the world, and this book introduces and puts names to them for further research.  Secondly, it is also interesting to connect dragons to dinosaurs and explore from there.  One of my favorite pictures in the book is on the last page:  a dragon, with a castle in the background, is peering into a still pond of water.  His reflection looking back is simply a T-Rex.  Sweet!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the New Leaf Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Some pics from Easter

Happy Easter!

We have had a fun, full, busy weekend!  A quick run-down:  grocery shopping Saturday morning, cooking Saturday afternoon, more shopping late Saturday, and ending the night with dying eggs.  I found some good deals on some dressy items for Eden so she had something fun and "new" to wear today (thrift store finds).  What I did not find:  Robin's Eggs.  I looked for the little malted wonders at FOUR different stores before finally giving up.  Apparently I should have bought my Easter candy earlier in the season. 

 {We had around 20 or so boiled eggs...some cracked.  We also blew the yokes out of other eggs.  Kathi was an expert!}

 {Obadiah is dressed for the occasion!  Love the expression!!}

This year, like last year, we didn't bother with digging out the Easter baskets from the garage attic.  We got the kids' shirts and made "nests" out of them.  To improvise for our lack of "Easter" candy, we pulled out leftover candy from that *other* holiday...the one we don't celebrate...(it starts with an "H")...LOL.  And we did have some Easter candy, just no Robin's Eggs.  (I'm still a *little* bitter about that).

The special surprise, though, was the great baskets that Kathi made for us.  Everyone had one.  It was filled with candy from Germany.  How cool is that?  Her parents have showered us with chocolates and treats.  We are so spoiled!  And you know what?  German chocolate really is better than Robin's Eggs anyway.  My kids don't know how blessed they are.  :)  Her gifts also included a German flag and a huge map of Germany...I can't wait to hang those on our wall!  Who needs interior decorating?  We're a homeschooling family! 

 {Carefully counting them out...}

 {Wonder who will get to eat his???}

More pictures to come...later...too tired right now, and the older kids just put on Passion of the Christ, so I want to go watch that.  It's a great way to end our holiday!  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tirzah Turns Two!

When I was pregnant with Tirzah I sat and looked around at my kids...and I imagined a cute little blondie standing up in the high chair yelling at everyone else and making them all laugh. 

When I went to my 20-week ultrasound, I tried to prepare myself to hear that the baby was a boy.  I was mostly worried that I might cry...because I really wanted another little girl, but definitely didn't want to be sad about the blessing that God was giving me no matter the gender.  I was surprised when the ultrasound technician said "this one's a girl" and the tears flowed.

We have had a really FUN two years.  I'm so glad we named her "Tirzah Joy" because she has been a joy and a delight.

She's a mess.  Learning to talk, and go potty, and copying everything we do.  She's SO observant! (Not like her mama).

She's also a Daddy's girl.  He's not a push-over like her mama, but he's a lot of fun for sure.

{Remember this diaper?}

My neighbor brought over this beautiful dress just a couple hours before our party began.  Tirzah LOVED it.  My neighbor didn't even know it was her birthday.  What a blessing!  :)

She's a goofy sort of princess, but that's exactly how I imagined she would be when I was pregnant with her.

At first she wasn't sure about blowing out that candle.  After she blew it out, everyone cheered.  Papa suggested Mitch light the candle and we try again.  So that resulted in several repeats.  She was having a LOT of fun by the end and asking for it to be relit.

Everyone brought toppings and we had ice cream sundaes.  They were INCREDIBLE.  I was stuffed, and I didn't even eat that much!  :)

 We gave Tirzah a magnadoodle for her birthday.  She loves to draw!

 Papa and Grandma Marilyn gave her this cute little doghouse stuffed with her favorite--PUPPIES! (In the picture she brought out a couple other stuffed animals to add to it.)  She was so excited.  So was the real puppy--Amirah--Tirzah was very stern with her that she must not touch her puppies.  :)  It was super cute.

It was a great evening!  Right, Micah?  :)